Titanic memorial service held at the wreck site

Titanic memorial service held at the wreck siteAP

Earlier today, the 1,309 passengers aboard the Titanic Memorial Cruise, which is retracing the route of the doomed liner, attended memorial services in tribute to the 1,512 people who lost their lives.

Passengers and crew held two services at the site of the disaster, 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. The first marked the time when the ship hit the iceberg (11.40pm) and the second was held at 2.20am today, the time that the ship sank.

The BBC reports that passengers held a minutes's silence and wreaths were cast into the sea in tribute to those who lost their lives 100 years ago.

Passengers on the Balmoral listened in silence as the names of these who died were read out.

One passenger, Jane Allen, whose great uncle, Thomas Pears, was one of those who died, told the BBC:

"It was just so eerily quiet.

"And then you look down over the side of the ship and you realise that every man and woman who was not fortunate enough to get into a lifeboat had to make that decision of when to jump or stay with the ship, until the lights went out.

"And when the lights went out it must have been horrendous. We witnessed that tonight."

A number of memorials and commemorative events have taken place around the world. The Titanic was built at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast and thousands attended remembrance services in Northern Ireland, including a concert at the city's Waterfront Hall last night.

A choral requiem at the St Anne's Cathedral was followed by a torch-lit procession to the new Titanic Memorial Garden in the grounds of Belfast city hall. Inside the memorial garden, the names of all the victims of the tragedy have been engraved on five bronze plaques on a plinth nine metres wide.

It is the first time that the names of everyone who died has been recoded on one monument as many of the existing memorials fail to include the names of the crew or musicians.

Names are listed in alphabetical order with no distinction between first class passengers or crew.

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Titanic memorial service held at the wreck site

The Disney Fantasy sails  at regular intervals from Port Canaveral, Florida on seven-night Caribbean itineraries that alternate eastern (St. Maarten and St. Thomas) and western (Grand Cayman, Costa Maya, Cozumel). All itineraries will include a stop at Disney's private island, Castaway Cay. Visit disneycruise.com for details. Rates for a seven-night Caribbean cruise on the Disney Fantasy start at £692 per person for a standard stateroom, based on double occupancy.

Star Clippers is running outdoor yoga cruises with twice-daily sessions on various itineraries including Hamburg to Oslo on Star Flyer for seven nights from £1,490pp. All prices are full board, with yoga and lectures and port charges. Flights extra. Visit starclippers.co.uk.

That fear of the drinks bill may be a thing of the past now that Crystal Cruises has launched a new all-inclusive package on Crystal Symphony. Complimentary drinks range from fine wines such as Beringer Napa Valley Chardonnay to Grey Goose vodka with pre-paid gratuities. Crystal Serenity follows suit with her 16-night transatlantic sailing on 8 May from New York to Dover - £4,111pp all-inclusive in a deluxe stateroom with picture window including one-way flight to New York and transfers. Visit crystalcruises.co.uk

Oceania Cruises has added four new departures this summer with $500 credit per stateroom. The Nautica departs 24th May from Barcelona to Copenhagen, 16 nights from £1349pp (saving £1829 pp). Cruise from Barcelona around the coast of Spain and Portugal, calling into Casablanca, Bruges, Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Prices include all meals, complimentary soft drinks. Excludes flights. Visit www.oceaniacruises.com

Celebrity Cruises Celebrity Constellation has announced a new 12-night cruise departing Southampton on 7 September. It calls at Paris, Bordeaux, Bilbao, Vigo and Porto before returning to Southampton. From £702 pp with meals and entertainment onboard and all cruise taxes/fees. Departs 7 September 2012. Visit celebritycruises.co.uk.

Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas has a new 14-night Mediterranean Cities cruise departing Southampton on 7 July and calling at Malaga, Cannes, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Cartagena and Lisbon before arriving into Vigo. From £1,199pp with meals and entertainment and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. Visit royalcaribbean.co.uk.

The Carnival Breeze launches in June with a seven-night Mediterranean cruise featuring a rum bar, cinema, comedy club, nightclub, 10 restaurants including sushi and a Mongolian BBQ station and kids activities. Leave on 19 September stopping at Monaco, Rome, Sardinia, Dubrovnik and Venice before returning to Barcelona. From £889pp full board including return flights from London to Barcelona with British Airways. Visit carnivalcruise.co.uk.

In August 2012, Quark Expeditions is running its first Arctic family cruise. The Spitsbergen Polar Bear Safari is an eight-day adventure which takes full advantage of the continuous daylight of the Arctic summer to spot and learn about wildlife including polar bears and walrus. With  photography workshops and extra activities including Arctic kayaking. Sail on the Akademik Sergey Vavilov from £3420 per adult and £2,430 for children up to 17. Visit quarkexpeditions.com.

2012 sees Thomson Cruises launch its Platinum Cruise range for the discerning cruiser.  Restaurants cabins, bars and spas onboard the Thomson Dream and Thomson Celebration are being completely refurbished. First sailing of the Dream departs on 9 December 2012, departing from Lisbon and sailing to Venezuela, Tobago, Grenada, St Lucia, British Virgin Islands, St Lucia, St Kitts and finishing in Barbados. Prices: 14 nights from £1,599 per person. Visit thomson.co.uk/cruise.

Royal Caribbean International’s Adventure of the Seas has a new 12-night Baltic cruise departing Southampton on 31 May and calling at Oslo, Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki with an overnight stay in historic St. Petersburg. From £999pp with meals and entertainment on board and all relevant cruise taxes/fees. Visit royalcaribbean.co.uk.

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